My PM Reading List

I felt like I was starting from zero when I first became a product manager. I was an effective project manager but didn’t have any formal product management training or experience. I had been learning the product process through working with my team but hadn’t read much about the theoretical underpinnings of the role. When I was promoted into product management, I didn’t want to squander the opportunity I had been given. I began to consume as much material as I could find.

One great thing about product management is that many seasoned PMs readily share their experiences and best practices. This wealth of resources not only educated me on the best ideas for effective software development, it also helped me form my own approach. While you can’t become a great PM just by reading about it, you can recognize and avoid many mistakes by learning from others.

As a companion to last week’s post, I want to share my catalogue of the reading material I have relied upon to evolve my thinking on product management. I hope this list can be helpful to someone new to product management or interested in becoming a product manager.

Book List

This list isn’t specifically dedicated to topics on product management and software development. Rather, it is more a list of books that shaped my own personal style of thinking, communicating, and collaborating.

The Big Three

  1. Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein
  2. The Communication Catalyst by Mickey Connolly & Richard Rianoshek
  3. The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek

The Core List

  1. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
  2. The Mom Test: How to talk to customers & learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying to you by Rob Fitzpatrick
  3. Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs by John Doerr
  4. The Art of Agile Development by James Shore & Shane Warden
  5. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz
  6. Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier
  7. Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
  8. Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist by Brad Feld & Jason Mendelson
  9. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
  10. The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future, by Steve Case
  11. The Startup Checklist: 25 Steps to Scalable, High-Growth Business by David S. Rose
  12. The Messy Middle: Finding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial Part of Any Bold Venture by Scott Belsky
  13. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

What I Still Need to Read

  1. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, by Nir Eyal
  2. The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail by Clayton M. Christensen
  3. The Innovator’s Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth by Clayton M. Christensen and Michael E. Raynor
  4. The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman
  5. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  6. Diffusion of Innovations by Everett M. Rogers

Articles and Blog Posts

The Concept of a Product Manager

Strategy and Market Research

Vision and Leadership

Product Lifecycle Management

User Experience and Product Backlog

Product Roadmap and Metrics

Business Model and Financials

Hope this was helpful!Kutter

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